Participation in NEET 2020 records 85% to 90% despite the pandemic
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NEW DELHI: Based on a random sample, the National Testing Agency stated that participation in the NEET-UG (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate) on Sunday was between 85% and 90%. Those candidates who missed the exams after testing positive for COVID-19 will be given another opportunity to take the test, the date of which will be announced later.

As of this year, admission to the MBBS course at the 13 All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) of the Jawaharlal Institute for Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry, following the amendment of the National Medical Commission Act of 2019, also via NEET of Parliament passed last year. In many locations, NTA also arranged buses and private vehicles to transfer candidates who arrived at their assigned centers earlier than the changed ones.

A total of 15.97 lakh candidates signed up for the test this year, up from 15.13 lakh in 2019. Participation in 2019 was 92.9%. Unlike JEE (main), NEET-UG is a pen-and-paper exam, and NTA officials said they can compile the data on Monday after the centers send feedback after the OMR sheets are sent out.

“Based on random samples, the number of visitors is between 85% and 90%, which is slightly below that of the previous year. The tests were successfully completed, ”said a senior official at NTA headquarters in Noida.

The test was offered in 11 languages ​​this year – English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Based on the first report, more than 77% of the aspirants took the test in English, around 12% in Hindi and 11% in other languages.

In a center in Mumbai, the distribution of the question paper was delayed by half an hour because the access card to open the digital lock failed. Eventually the trunk had to be opened manually and the candidates were given extra time.

According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare Standard Operating Instructions, the NTA had to add and switch centers for candidates on September 10 and 11 to avoid crowding. Although the candidates were informed by phone call and email, they ended up in their old centers in the morning. In Nagpur, for example, NTA arranged buses and vehicles to take the candidates to their proper centers before the 2pm exams began.

In addition, COVID-19 positive candidates were not allowed to take the exam on Sunday according to the SOP of the MoHFW and may appear at a later time. According to Vineet Joshi, director general of NTA, “Candidates who missed the test or refused to take the test because they are positive (from COVID-19) may take the test later. They need to follow the procedure like emailing NTA with attaching their medical test certificate etc. NTA will take stock and announce the date later. ”

Candidates found the exam to be safe. While the agency only allocated 12 candidates per room, up from 24 in 2019, many candidates indicated that their room had an even smaller number of candidates.

Nayan Chaudhari from Pune said: The newspaper was like last year, not tricky. The seating arrangements for about 6-7 students in a class were good. “Saileza Biswal from Bhubaneswar said:” The biology was easy to answer. But the physics was tough. The investigation indeed went smoothly amid the pandemic. “Sanjay Lokesh from Chennai agreed that the question paper was moderate and the physical questions difficult.

According to C V Madhavi, Director of DAV Public School, Pune, “NEET went smoothly. Social distancing was done very strictly. Students complied with all COVID norms. Disposable masks, gloves, disinfectants, temperature testers, jammers, and non-contact scanning were provided by the NTA unit. ”

NEET-UG is conducted for admission to MBBS and BDS courses at medical and dental colleges approved by the Medical Council of India and the Dental Council of India, respectively. The results are expected to be announced in the second week of October 2020.

In 2019, a total of 7.97 lakh candidates qualified for the test, including 2.86 lakh from the non-reserved category, 3.75 lakh from the OBC category, more than 99,000 from the SC, and more than 35,000 from the ST -Category. In India, there are almost 1 lakh places for MBBS and BDS at recognized universities.

(With contributions by Swati Shinde, Abhishek Choudhuri, Hemant Pradhan, A Ragu Raman and Yogita Rao)

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